Traditional IT companies may dominate in a few fields, but in others, they will never catch up to those companies “born in the cloud.”
I actually have a unique perspective on these two worlds, as prior to this adventure at ParkMyCloud, I worked at IBM for many years. I was originally with Micromuse, where we had a fault and service assurance solution (Netcool) to manage and optimize Network and IT Operations. Micromuse was acquired by IBM in 2006 by the Tivoli Software Group business unit (later to be named Smarter Cloud). IBM was great – I learned a lot and met a lot of very smart, bright people. I was in Worldwide Sales Management so I had visibility across the globe into IT trends.
In the 2012/2013 timeframe, I noticed we were losing a lot of IT management, monitoring and assurance deals to companies like ServiceNow, New Relic, Splunk, Microsoft, and the like – all these “born in cloud” companies offering SaaS-based solutions to solve complex enterprise problems (that is, “born in the cloud” other than Microsoft – I’ll come back to them).
At first these SaaS-based IT infrastructure management companies were managing traditional on-premise servers and networks, but as more and more companies moved their infrastructure into the cloud, the SaaS companies were positioned to manage that as well – but at IBM, we were not. All of the sudden we were trying to sell complex, expensive IT management solutions for stuff running in this “cloud” called Amazon Web Services (AWS) – a mere 5 years ago. And then Softlayer, Rackspace, and Microsoft Azure popped up. I start thinking, there must be something here, but what is it and who’s going to manage and optimize this infrastructure?
After a few years sitting on the SaaS side of the table, now I know. Many meetings and discussions with very large Fortune 100 enterprises have taught me several very salient points about the cloud:
- Public cloud is here to stay – see Capital One or McDonald’s at recent AWS re:Invent Keynotes (both customers of ParkMyCloud, by the way)
- Enterprises are NOT using “traditional” IT tools to build, test, run and manage infrastructure and applications in the cloud
- What’s different about the cloud is that it’s a YUGE utility, which means companies now focus on cost control. Since it’s an OpEx model rather than a CapEx model they want to continually optimize their spend
Agility and innovation drive public cloud adoption but as cloud maturity grows so does the need for optimization – governance, cost control, and analytics.
So where does this leave the traditional companies like Oracle, HPE, and IBM? How are they involved in the migration to and lifecycle management of cloud-based applications? Well, from what I have seen they on the outside looking in – which is why when my good friend sent this to me the other day I was shocked – I guess Oracle decided to spot AWS a $13B lead – pretty smart, I am sure they will make this gap up by oh, let’s say 2052… brilliant strategy.
That said, one company that “gets it” seems to be Microsoft, both in terms of providing cloud infrastructure (Azure) but also being progressive enough to license their technologies for even the smallest of companies to adopt and grow using their applications.
To put a bow on this point, I was at a recent meeting where a Fortune 25 company was talking to us about their migration into the cloud, and the tools they are using:
- Clouds – AWS / Azure
- Migration – service partner
- Monitoring – DataDog
- Service Desk and CMDB – ServiceNow
- Application Management – NewRelic
- Log analytics – Splunk
- Pipeline automation – Jenkins
- Cost control (yes, that’s a category now) – ParkMyCloud
Now that’s some pretty good company! And not a single “traditional” IT tool on the list. I guess it takes one born in the cloud to manage it.